SERP subjectivity and Advertorial questions answered by Matt Cutts

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Matt-Cutts-Google-SEO-June-2013Google’s webspam team head, Matt Cutts shared his views regarding advertorials recently in his YouTube channel.

They may look like age-old advertising but advertorials are more like editorials or natural content. The problem associated with this is that when people go through an advertorial content piece, they draw a quick conclusion that the content is editorial and it has been written by a part-time writer. Many a time, advertorials passes PageRank, which creates quite a problem as they are not disclosed that much. He stated that if one is found to be doing this then they could see a number of penalties related to SEO heading their way.

If one is thinking of avoiding the penalties, one needs to reveal the advertorial nature of the content to Google. SEO¬†Optimization tactics can be used while doing this such as the rel=”nofollow” tag. It informs Google of not passing PageRank for it.

Next question Cutts dealt with was in regards to Google’s viewpoint on quality of search when one is relying on the subjective signals. The assumption is quite faulty in this case, he explained, as many thinks that as far as SERPs are concerned, the search query context cannot be determined by Google. But the thing is that they can determine it quite often. Human testers can deduce the context by simply looking the query and the domain. It is quite easy for them to see how these two are related, even though they are not accustomed with the matter.

He cautioned that the search engines cannot be wholly objective as human have made them and they come with their own algorithms and philosophy. Diverse results can be shown by some while other particular sites may be favoured by others. It is simply how the thing works and here, total subjectivity is not at all possible. Each search engine has its own different ideas as far as the best possible search results are concerned. No science can determine what exactly the term “best” means related to which sites need to be ranked higher than the others.

Website optimization and SEO do possess a few innate subjective qualities. It should not be considered to be negative as it allows, if not anything else, good websites and good content to rise naturally to the top.